Both Windows XP and Vista offer built in Firewall protection. But the difference is that while WinXP offer protection against incoming threats only, Vista is capable of two-way protection, meaning, the Firewall in Vista is capable of watching and blocking both inbound and outbound traffic. Monitoring outbound traffic could be just as critical as monitoring inbound traffic. For instance, an infected PC could mass-mail spam or even forward your credit card numbers to someone.
But, by default, the Firewall in Vista is not enabled to block outbound traffic. So, out of the box, Vista does nothing about what your system sends out. However, enabling two-way Firewall protection in Vista is simple though not very obvious. Here is how to do it.
- Click Start, type Firewall and hit Enter.
- In the search result, select Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
- Click Windows Firewall Properties.
- In the dialog box, the first three tabs have an Outbound Connections drop-down menu. In all the three, select Block.